Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
WHAT has gone wrong in Bulawayo?
It used to be the pride of the nation with its well-cultured residents who lived in one of the cleanest cities in the Sadc region.
But there seems to be serious moral decadence that has left Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube not impressed.
Minister Ncube expressed discontent on Thursday during the belated International Day of Peace commemorations at Brethren-in-Christ Church in Lobengula.
And for anyone who has had a close contact with Minister Ncube, they would know that beyond being a politician she is a concerned mother who worries about Bulawayo residents.
The anti-social and criminal behaviour of the youth who are involved in drug abuse, illegal parties known as Vuzu parties where they engage in risky sexual activities and other social ills give the Minister sleepless nights.
Could the decline in moral societal fabric be a result of adoption of foreign cultures, she asks.
It’s not just the youth who have lost it, Minister Ncube says. Even the grannies seem to have lost touch with what is expected of them in families.
Parents are seemingly happy recipients of gifts and food that are brought by their unproductive children and they are not probing the source of the funds or condemning such behaviours.
“When schools are closed and before they reopen, pupils conduct the so-called Vuzu parties. Parents are approaching my office to report that children have become wild and wayward, I am sad because children no longer listen to elders,” says Minister Ncube.
“These teens flood the streets when going to these dirty parties and have codes which are unknown to anyone not part of the team. The same code enables you to board the kombi taking them to these parties.”
A study revealed that during the Vuzu parties the youth will be having sex orgies and one who indulges with more boys gets a reward at the end. The risk of transmitting and contracting sexually transmitted diseases is high as the youth are said to engage in unprotected sex.
She says of concern is the fact that during such parties’ youths partake in illegal activities including drug and alcohol abuse which have a detrimental effect their well-being.
“Alcohol is so cheap, it’s like its targeted at young people so that they lose values and focus needed for them to become leaders in our community. Even at home, they won’t be able to marry and when he is married, he is always fighting with the daughter in law and ends up assaulting parents. We have numerous cases where parents are assaulted by their children,” says Minister Ncube.
“In Cowdray Park there is a young man who told his mother, who is a widow, that since his father died, he was inheriting everything including her. So, the mother is afraid to sleep at home, thinking she will be raped by her son as the son claims she has inherited everything including his mother.”
The Minister says youths were even stealing from home to fund their abuse problem. She says immorality issues are also prevalent in the church.
Minister Ncube says some parents are forcing their children into marriages, which leads to broken families.
“I was invited by churches to a women’s gathering, there was a young girl who stood up and said ‘parents if you force me to get married because you would have found me with a boy maybe we were discussing school issues. You force me to get married, why are you abandoning us? I thought that was a challenge to parents and I think we should self-introspect. Why are we failing to protect the girl child and protect the boy child? Sokusemahlangeni,” she said.
Minister Ncube also attacked parents who are keen to receive gifts.
“Another young woman said ‘my mother is so happy when I come home carrying pizza because she loves pizza.’ Some of the things were so embarrassing that you had to look sideways. That child is going to die because of that pizza and you, the parent, are going to die because of that pizza as well. What are we doing? What has happened to our responsibilities as parents,” said Minister Ncube.
“The Late Vice-President (Joshua) Nkomo said when copying we should not copy everything including the name. Why are we adopting foreign cultures. These cause disunity.”
She says marriages are breaking down for elderly couples as some of them are denying each other conjugal rights. — @nqotshili